Life’s a bitch and keeps the pace. This coming Wednesday will prove more important than Sunday ever was, as Palmeiras take on Paraná at the Durival Britto stadium in Curitiba. Paraná is a second division team – both nationally and in their state league – and have not done very well this year. The return game is scheduled for 9 May. If Palmeiras fail to qualify for the next round in the Brazil Cup, heads will roll. And I’ll personally be looking for a decent axe.
A lot has happened off the pitch in the last week or so. What follows is the briefest of summaries:
Midfielder Bruno Dybal is one of few stars in Palmeiras’ youth academy and rumours are Corinthians have been wanting to snatch the 17-year-old as he would be free to sign a pre-contract with any team by the end of 2012. A new agreement negotiated with Palmeiras acts as an extension of the current agreement by two more years, in addition to reducing Palmeiras’ share in the player from 70% to 50%. Signing should occur any day now.
Left-winger Fernandinho and offensive midfielder Mazinho – both from Oeste de Itápolis – have joined the squad after having caught Scolari’s attention. With contracts running until the end of the year, Palmeiras hold pole position in case any of the two prove worth the investment of an extended contract. Fernandinho is 26 years old and has already played for Vasco, São Caetano, Sport and Avaí. Left-footed Mazinho is 24 years old and has played for Marília, Noroeste, São Caetano and América-RN. They are both unwritten pages as far as I’m concerned. Their official presentation was supposed to take place today, but due to yesterday’s negative result, it was postponed until tomorrow Tuesday. Yeah, like we’re all going to be so much more excited tomorrow… Anyway, Welcome both of you – if you can make it here you’ll make it anywhere.
Meanwhile, our dear president Tirone has (again) managed to make a fool out of himself. In the beginning of last week a meeting was held at the São Paulo Football Federation HQ to vote on quarter-final arrangements in the São Paulo Championship. Mr Tirone left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he is clueless in regard to the most basic rules and regulations of the championship. Painfully embarrassing.
Saturday 21 April marked the 95th anniversary of Palmeiras’ first game at Parque Antarctica/Palestra Itália. Neat. Although I must admit I’m more than tired of remembering glorious moments of the past.
And to finish things off, a piece of good news: the political movement for change within Palmeiras named “Fanfulla” have announced they will launch their own and hopefully unifying political platform for the 2013 elections – the aim of course being to get as many progressive counsellors as possible elected. In time, new blood and new ideas will rock the old boat sufficiently for the rats to abandon ship.